dr catalonaWilliam J. Catalona, M.D. – Medical Director of the Urological Research Foundation


Marital Status:Married: Janet Flenner Catalona
One Child: Alexander Paul Catalona
Contact Information:675 North St. Clair Street, Suite 20-150
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312 695-4471
Fax: 312 695-7030
E-Mail: wcatalona@nm.org
Pre-Medical Education:Otterbein College, Westerville, OH 1964 – B.S.
Medical Education:Yale Medical School, New Haven, CT 1968 – M.D.
Graduate Hospital Clinical Experience:


1968-1969 – Intern (Surgery), Yale-New Haven Hospital

1969-1970 – Resident (Surgery), University of California, San Francisco, California

1970-1972 – Clinical Associate, NIH/NCI, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland

1972-1976 – Resident (Urology), Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland

Academic Positions:1976-1982 – Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology), Washington University School of Medicine

1982-2003 – Professor of Surgery (Urology), Washington University School of Medicine

1984-1998 – Chief of Urologic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine

2003-present – Professor of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

2003-present – Director of the Clinical Prostate Cancer Program, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Hospital Appointments:Barnes-Jewish Hospital

St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

CaliforniaG26426(1974), G192274 (2015)
Illinois036108209036108209   (2003)
Certification:American Board of Urology, 1978
Military Service:US Public Health Service, National Cancer Institute

Surgery Branch, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland (1970-72)

Societies:Fellow, American College of Surgeons

American Urologic Association

North Central Section, American Urologic Association

American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons

Clinical Society of Genitourinary Surgeons, President (2011)

Society of Urologic Oncology, President (1995-96)

Awards and Honors:

James Ewing Society Award for Cancer Research, 1972

Mid-Atlantic Section AUA, Resident Clinical Research Award, 1974

Clinical Research Award, AUA Grayson Carroll Essay Contest, 1974

American Cancer Society Clinical Fellow, 1974 – 1975

American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Fellow, 1977 – 1979

C.E. Alken Award for Research in Urology, 1979

American Urological Association, Gold Cystoscope Award, 1986

American Urological Association Annual Audio-Visual Award, First Prize, 1988

American Urological Association, Hugh Hampton Young Award, 1994

The Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, 1994

American Urological Association, Eugene Fuller Triennial Prostate Medal, 1998

American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, Barringer Medal, 1999

Fellow, St. Louis Academy of Science, 2002

American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, Edward L Keyes Medal, 2003

Florida Prostate Cancer Network, Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf Pioneer in Prostate Cancer Award, 2005

Society of Urologic Oncology, Charles Huggins Award, 2005

Prostate Cancer Foundation, D.S. Coffey Physician-Scientist Award, 2005

National Prostate Cancer Coalition’s Golden Glove Award, 2006

New York Academy of Medicine, Ferdinand C. Valentine Medal, 2007

Alpha Omega Alpha, Honorary Medical Society, Northwestern Univ. 2010

Ramon Guiterrez Lecturer, American Urological Association 2011

Society of Basic Urology Research Distinguished Service Award 2013

German Urological Association – Honorary Member 2013

William Wallace Scott Lecturer, Johns Hopkins, 2014

Northwestern University Urology Chief Residents award for “outstanding contributions to resident education” (2015)

Clinical Society of Genitourinary Surgeons Honorary Member (2016)

Castle-Connolly National Physician of the Year Award (2016)

American Urological Association, Honorary Member (2017)

Urology Care Foundation Richard D. Williams, MD Prostate Cancer Research Excellence Award (2019)

American Urological Association, Ramon Guiteras Award (2020)

Special Committee Appointments:

Assistant Editor, Journal of Urology, 1978-1986

Editorial Board, Investigative Urology, 1980-1985

Field-Editor, World Journal of Urology

Editor, Quest 1996 – present

American Board of Urology Certification Examination Committee 1982-1986 (leader of urologic oncology section 1986)

Editorial Board, Advances in Urology

Member Consultant, American Urological Association Program Committee

Editorial Board, Urological Survey Section, Journal of Urology, 1988-1992

Consultant, NIH Organ Systems Coordinating Center Prostate Cancer Working Group

Scientific Advisory Committee, National Kidney Foundation

Medical Affairs Committee, American Cancer Society

Consulting Editor, Urology

Medical Advisory Committee, CaP CURE (Prostate Cancer Foundation)

Spokesperson on Prostate Cancer Screening, American Urological Association, Inc.

Medical Director, Urological Research Foundation 1984 –present

President, Society of Urologic Oncology (1995-1996)

Member National Comprehensive Cancer Network Panel on Early Detection of Prostate Cancer

Co-Chair, Genetics Working Group, Prostate Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE), National Cancer Institute, NIH/NCI

PI SPORE in Prostate Cancer – 2013-present

Research Activities:Cancer Biology (Intravesical BCG Therapy for Bladder Cancer, PSA-based Screening for Prostate Cancer, Genetics of Prostate Cancer)

Grant Support:

National Institutes of Health
1977-80 Principal Investigator – Immunologic Characterization of Copenhagen
Rat Prostatic Adenocarcinoma

1978-81 Principal Investigator – Suppressor Cells in Bladder Cancer Patients

1980-83 Co-Investigator – Interferon: Effect on Immunity to Bladder Tumors

1984-92 Co-Investigator – Mechanisms of Surgical Adjuvant Intravesical BCG

1986-89 Co-Investigator – Surgery and BCG in Bladder Cancer: Immunologic Effects

1992-93 Co-Investigator – Intravesical BCG for Bladder Cancer: Role of Fibronectin

1992-96 Principal Investigator – Special Project on Research Excellence – Prostate Cancer

1993-97 Co-Investigator – Intravesical BCG for Bladder Cancer: role of Fibronectin

Biogen Company
1985-89 Principal Investigator – Comparison of Immuneron With Depo Provera In Patients With
Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Adria Laboratories
1989-91 Principal Investigator – Combination Doxorubicin and BCG In The Treatment of Bladder

American Cancer Society
1992-93 Principal Investigator – American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Fellowship Award

1993-94 Principal Investigator – American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Fellowship Award

1994-95 Principal Investigator – American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Fellowship Award

United States Army Medical Research and Material Command
1999-02 Co-Investigator – An LOH Study of Chromosome 8 in Multiplex Prostate Cancer Sibships

Hybritech Incorporated
1989-present Principal Investigator – Prostate Specific Antigen Screening For Prostate Cancer

1994-present Principal Investigator – Establishment of Prostate Cancer Tissue Bank

Harvard/NIH Subcontract
1997-98 – Prinicipal Investigator – Dietary and Biochemical Markers of Prostate Cancer Risk

1998-2000 – Principal Investigator – Patient Preferences for Outcomes Associated with Surgical
Management of Prostate Cancer

Boehinger Mannheim Corp.
1998 – Principal Investigator – Determination of Elecsys Total and Free PSA Levels

1998-1999 Principal Investigator – Cyclooygenase Inhibitors in Prostate Cancer: Phase I

1998-2000 A Multi-Center Clinical Evaluation of the CaverMap Surgical Aid for us During Radical

Pfizer, Inc.
1998 Principal Investigator – A Study to Evaluate the Impact of Viagra on Treatment Satisfaction


1. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a first-line screening test for PCa

Historical background: Before the work of my colleagues and me, the digital rectal examination was the only first-line screening test for PCa. PSA had been used for monitoring the response to treatment of patients already diagnosed with PCa, but it was not believed that it could be used as a first-line screening test.

Central findings: In a prospective study of >1600 patients, we demonstrated that PSA outperformed DRE as a first-line screening test for PCa.a 

Influence of the findings on the progress of science: This ushered in the global PSA screening era, was a precursor of the pivotal study that led to FDA approval of PSA as an aid to the early detectionb, and served as an impetus for the randomized clinical trials of PSA-based screening. Two of these trials demonstrated a stage migration and 21-44% decrease in PCa-specific mortality. c, d Ecological data from the U.S. and Canada also show a > 50% decrease in PCa mortality during the PSA screening era. The PSA Study database also was a resource for numerous studies defining the operating characteristics of PSA testing.

Application of findings to health or technology: Despite the controversy concerning PSA screening, most major professional organizations currently recommend a shared decision making process concerning PSA testing.

My specific role: I conceived, executed and authored the original PSA study and led the multi-institutional pivotal study that achieved FDA approval of the PSA test. Manuscripts a and b below, on which I was first author, have been cited over 2350 times in papers by authors from 69 countries written in 22 different languages, and have been cited over 90 times in patents (Scopus).

a. Catalona WJ, et al. Measurement of prostate-specific antigen in serum as a screening test for prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 1991; 324:1156-61

b. Catalona WJ, et al. Comparison of digital rectal examination and serum prostate specific antigen in the early detection of prostate cancer: results of a multicenter clinical trial of 6,630 men. J Urol.1994; 151:1283-90.

c. Schröder FH, et al. Prostate-cancer mortality at 11 years of follow-up. N Engl JMed. 2012; 366:981-90.

d. Hugosson J, et al. Mortality results from the Göteborg randomized population-based prostate-cancer screening trial. Lancet Oncol. 2010:725-32. PMCID: PMC4089887

2. Free-to-total PSA test to increase the specificity of PSA screening

The total PSA test has limited specificity and can lead to false positive results upon testing. The free/total PSA ratio improves specificity of PCa screening in men with elevated total serum PSA levels and can reduce unnecessary prostate biopsiesa,b  This work led to the pivotal study that achieved FDA approval of the free PSA test to improve the accuracy of PSA testing.c The free PSA test is now widely used in PSA-based screening for PCa. I helped conceive, execute and write the original free PSA study and led the multi-institutional pivotal study that achieved FDA approval of the free PSA test. As a group, the papers below have been cited over 1780 times in scholarly works and 46 times in patents (Scopus).

a. Catalona WJ, et al, Evaluation of percentage of free serum prostate-specific antigen to improve specificity of prostate cancer screening. JAMA. 1995; 274:1214-20.

b. Catalona WJ, et al. Prostate cancer detection in men with serum PSA concentrations of 2.6 to 4.0 ng/mL and benign prostate examination. Enhancement of specificity with free PSA measurements. JAMA. 1997; 277:1452-5.

c. Catalona WJ, et al. Use of the percentage of free prostate-specific antigen to enhance differentiation of prostate cancer from benign prostatic disease: a prospective multicenter clinical trial. JAMA. 1998; 279:1542-7.

3. Pro PSA test to increase the specificity of PSA screening for clinically significant PCa

Adding pro-PSA measurements further improves specificity of PCa screening in men with elevated total serum PSA levels over free PSA and complexed PSA tests. My work has demonstrated that pro-PSA significantly improves cancer detection, further reduces unnecessary biopsies, and preferentially detects aggressive prostate cancers.a,b,d This work led to the pivotal study that achieved FDA approval of the [-2] pro PSA as part of the Prostate Health Index (phi) to improve the accuracy of PSA testing.c  The phi test is commercially available and is increasingly gaining use for PCa screening. I helped conceive, execute and author the original pro-PSA studies and led the multi-institutional pivotal study that achieved FDA approval of the Prostate Health Index (phi) test. The manuscripts listed below have been cited collectively in scholarly works over 350 times by authors representing 32 countries and written in 11 languages. 3d has also received media coverage, including a feature in Reuters news (Scopus and Altmetric).

a. Catalona WJ, et al. Serum pro-prostate specific antigen improves cancer detection compared to free and complexed PSA in men with prostate specific antigen 2 to 4 ng/ml. J Urol. 2003; 170:2181-5.

b. Catalona WJ, et al. Serum pro-prostate specific antigen preferentially detects aggressive prostate cancers in men with 2 to 4 ng/ml prostate specific antigen. J Urol. 2004; 171:2239-44.

c. Catalona WJ, et al. A multicenter study of [-2] pro-prostate specific antigen combined with prostate specific antigen and free prostate specific antigen for prostate cancer detection in the 2.0 to 10.0 ng/ml prostate specific antigen range. J Urol. 2011; 185:1650-5. PMCID: PMC3140702

d. Loeb S, et al. The prostate health index selectively identifies clinically significant prostate cancer. J Urol. 2015; 193:1163-9. PMCID: PMC4404198

4. Discovery and replication of SNPs associated with PCa susceptibility

There was limited knowledge of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with PCa susceptibility. I collaborated in the study by deCODE Genetics that discovered the first PCa risk allele on chromosome 8q24 and subsequently more than 10 other PCa risk SNPs. This was the first of many genome-wide association studies that have identified ~160 common PCa risk SNPs. These studies have increased the knowledge of genetic factors associated with PCa susceptibility. During these studies, we created a well-annotated biorepository for future studies. I provided DNA samples and phenotype data for the replication phase of the studies and participated in the writing of the manuscripts. Collectively, the manuscripts below have been cited over 1083 times in works by authors in 69 countries, including over 40 books and book chapters. These papers have also been cited 90 times in patents. (Scopus)

a. Amundadottir LT, et al. A common variant associated with prostate cancer in European and African populations. Nat Genet. 2006; 38:652-8.

b. Gudmundsson J, et al. A study based on whole-genome sequencing yields a rare variant at 8q24 associated with prostate cancer. Nat Genet. 2012; 44:1326-9. PMCID: PMC3562711

c. Gudmundsson J, Two variants on chromosome 17 confer prostate cancer risk, and the one in TCF2 protects against type 2 diabetes. Nat Genet. 2007; 39:977-83.

d. Gudmundsson J, et al. Genetic correction of PSA values using sequence variants associated with PSA levels. Sci Transl Med. 2010; 2:62ra92. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3001513. PMCID: PMC3564581

5. Discovery and replication of SNPs associated with PCa susceptibility/aggressiveness

There is limited knowledge of SNPs associated with PCa aggressiveness. I participated in the early microsatellite studies focusing on PCa aggressivenessa as well as linkage studies, association studies and whole-exome sequencing studies of the ICPCG studies in familial PCa casesb, and in the SPORE Genetics Working Group studies of aggressive PCa risk alleles.c,d  These studies have increased the knowledge of genetic factors associated with the more aggressive PCa phenotypes. This work led to the identification of genetic variants associated with PCa aggressiveness and have pointed the way to future studies that may have practical applications for targeted screening and active surveillance versus immediate treatment. I provided DNA samples and phenotype data for the discovery and replication phases of the studies and participated in the design, organization, execution, analysis and writing of the SPORE Genetic Working Group studies. This newer work has been cited a total of 127 times by authors in 32 countries (Scopus).

a. Witte JS, Goddard KA, Conti DV, Elston RC, Lin J, Suarez BK, Broman KW, Burmester JK, Weber JL, Catalona WJ. Genomewide scan for prostate cancer-aggressiveness loci. Am J Hum Genet. 2000 67:92-9. PMCID: PMC1287106

b. Teerlink CC, et al. International Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics. Association analysis of 9,560 prostate cancer cases from the International Consortium of Prostate Cancer Genetics confirms the role of reported prostate cancer associated SNPs for familial disease. Hum Genet. 2014; 133:347-56. PMCID: PMC3945961

c. Catalona WJ, et al. National Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Genetics Workshop. Cancer Res. 2011; 71:3442-6. PMCID: PMC3096727

d. Helfand BT, Roehl KA, Cooper PR, Catalona WJ. Associations of prostate cancer risk variants with disease aggressiveness: results of the NCI-SPORE Genetics Working Group analysis of 18,343 cases. Hum Genet. 2015; 134:439-50.

Download Dr. Catalona’s full CV here.

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